You know what’s great for driving traffic to your site? A marketing team. Don’t have a marketing team, or the budget to get one? Join the club. Small businesses are often those without dedicated marketing advocates making concerted efforts to drive traffic to the website.
That doesn’t mean that all is lost. There are many things that you can do yourself as an entrepreneur to increase traffic, and many of them are cost-free.
Below are a few tips to get your online store, blog, product pages in front of more people, without losing a chunk of your budget:
1. Go social
Social media is a valuable tool for businesses, particularly when it comes to driving brand recognition, growing your customer base, and increasing revenues. It can also help raise awareness of your blog or site content.
Share published content to social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Leverage key hashtags to increase the likelihood of coming up in search results and include trendy images, particularly on image-heavy social channels such as Pinterest and Instagram.
2. Diversify content
The more variety you post, the more variety of readers you might attract. Whether posting content to your website or to a linked blog, make sure that you cover a broad range of topics, yet in some way connected to your industry or what you're selling. What’s more, Google and other search engines love good (and relevant) content, so the more you publish, the healthier Google will perceive your website.
Even the best blog posts can go unread, so be sure to be creative with your headlines as starting points for your content. In addition to different topics, try also exploring different formats, such as tip lists, expert interviews, and customer profiles to appeal to different audiences.
3. Link, link, link
Linking is another important method that will help you improve your organic search ranking (searchability) in Google and other search engines. Search engines view links as proof of your site’s credibility, so anywhere that you can help build external links is useful.
There are a variety of ways to build internal-bound links. Consider seeking guest contributors that will share their content and link back to your site/blog. Or perhaps you can interview experts that may post the interview to their own blog with the corresponding link. If you have an opportunity to guest blog, request that this content also be linked back to your site.
You can also submit content to aggregator sites to populate it further online and hopefully drive more readers (and links).
4. Share with friends
Don’t just publish content and hope for the best. Your current email lists and social network connections offer a great community for spreading the word. This will keep readers coming back, and also increase the likelihood that they will share or spread the word of your great content.
Every time you publish a blog post, email it to your database of contacts. This list can include blog followers, existing customers, or other interested parties. NOTE! If you are a Canadian business selling to other Canadians, make sure your emails are CASL compliant.
5. SEO essentials
SEO is still alive and breathing. Having the basics of on-page SEO in place is a necessity, including foundational elements such as: page title, meta descriptions, and keywords.
There are many resources for ensuring that you are properly optimizing your page. There are also a host of tools and services you can install to automate and simplify the process for you, including the Wordpress All in One SEO Pack and Scribe. Whether you do it yourself or hire help, once you are comfortably implementing the foundational elements, you should strongly consider exploring long-tail keywords, as these can be an extremely valuable way to broaden your reach.
6. Network your content
Blogging communities have been around for a while and offer an excellent platform for building readership. In addition to getting your content in front of a like-minded audience, they often provide feedback to help you better fine-tune what you publish.
Joining these communities is fairly straightforward and usually free, but some of the more “premier” networks may cost you a monthly fee to get your blog in front of very targeted audiences. A simple Google search will produce endless results, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.
There are a lot of ideas out there – some that are creative and free, while others are formal and costly. The key is to know how to bring loyal readers to your website. Choose tactics that will work best for your business. Good luck!
Looking for more ways to help setup or improve your online business? Download our FREE eBook: A "To-Do" List for Setting Up Your Online Business.
The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed.